Signs and Symptoms of Broken Teeth

It’s sometimes hard to distinguish between every day aches and pains, and more serious warning signs that have to be seen by a medical professional, so it’s always helpful to educate yourself on what’s just a reaction to a cold drink, and what is a symptom of a broken tooth. Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the early signs of broken teeth, from the obvious indications, to ones that are more difficult to spot.

How will I know if I’ve broken my tooth?

Our teeth are very strong, in fact, they are constructed from the hardest bone in the human body, but that doesn’t mean they are indestructible, sometimes just biting down on a hard piece of food can be enough to cause them damage. If you have had an accident that has damaged the outer layers or knocked out a tooth completely, it will undoubtedly be quite obvious that you have broken something, but there are other symptoms you should look out for that might not even present themselves for the first few days after an injury.

Your dentist is trained to diagnose any type of symptoms that can be related to tooth damage, so make an appointment as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary, there’s no sense in waiting until the problem becomes unmanageable. Broken teeth can deteriorate to a very serious degree if you don’t take immediate action, so contact the Pearl Dental Clinic to organise a consultation with one of their friendly, highly-qualified team members.

What signs and symptoms should I look out for?

Pain when chewing – Shooting pains or the on-going discomfort of toothache can often be the result of a broken tooth. Tiny fractures are invisible to the naked eye, and usually require an x-ray to be properly identified, but they can still cause a significant amount of pain under even the smallest amounts of pressure. This type of symptom can make life particularly difficult, as it can interfere with eating, drinking, cleaning, sleeping, and severely affect your daily routine. Shooting pain usually indicates some kind of structural damage, which can come from an injury or from extensive tooth decay, and will not go away by itself. Pain when chewing can also have further reaching consequences if left untreated; changes in your biting pattern and pressure adjustment on the affected teeth can lead to orthodontic problems in the future, as well as a change in jaw structure or appearance.

Sensitivity – Eating very hot or cold foods will cause a temporary reaction for most people, as the teeth try to tell us that the temperature change is too much for them to bear, but longer-lasting aches and pains are not normal and could be the result of some type of breakage. Damage that leaves the nerve centre exposed to outside elements needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, before infection sets in and causes much bigger problems. Remember, a certain amount of sensitivity is to be expected, but if you notice severe, escalating pain that occurs after you eat or drink something, you need to speak to a professional.

Swellings – Cracks and fractures can lead to serious infection, if they are not treated in a timely fashion, and swellings are often the result of bacteria making their way into the system through the damaged area. Just because the initial injury doesn’t cause immediate pain, doesn’t mean your teeth are not at risk of infection, you need to have your mouth checked out as soon as possible after impact, or you could develop painful swellings that can even change the shape of your face from the outside. Ibuprofen can help deal with the pain of broken teeth, it can also reduce inflammation, but it certainly can’t with the underlying infection, you need antibiotics and possibly surgery, in order to properly solve the problem.

Injuries – As mentioned above, accidents or wounds that obviously damage your teeth are not so much a symptom of broken teeth as they are a cause. It’s a good idea to have a dentist look at your teeth after you have experience an accident – as soon as any more pressing health issues have been dealt with, that is – because hairline fractures can sometimes develop into something more serious, without you realising it. Dentists usually chose to take x-rays in these cases, to check for any more subtle signs of tooth damage.

Bleeding – Although there are tiny blood vessels contained in the central chamber of the teeth, bleeding tends to be a sign of gum disease, rather than actual breakages, but it can often occur as a symptom of infection caused by the damage. Furthermore, gum disease – or periodontitis – can lead to tooth loss if it is not dealt with effectively, so it’s important to refer your case to a dental professional when you notice the early signs.

Are there any other signs I should be aware of?

The human body is designed to indicate when something is wrong, but it’s up to us and our physicians to diagnose what these signs mean, even the ones that don’t seem to be directly related to our broken teeth. If you experience any nausea or dizziness soon after a dental trauma or around the time you have had toothache, it’s possible that these symptoms are a result of problems with your teeth. Referred pains, such as aching head, neck, or shoulders, can also be associated with dental irregularities, and may be early signs of blood poisoning. Even though these symptoms sound quite scary, there’s no need to panic, just go straight to the hospital and explain that you have recently had an accident, or you have noticed some on-going problems with your teeth, they will them be able to determine whether you symptoms indicate a more serious condition. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the problem gets out of control, the pain of a broken tooth won’t go away on its own, it’s better to have it fixed quickly, rather than deal with the long-term implications – which can be fatal in rare cases.

How to find us?


5 Vale Parade, Kingston Vale

Kingston Hill, London SW15 3PS


Pearl Dental Clinic

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